Razor user in Poland

Hello Alex,

Finally I received it beginning of the week, but did not have oppportunity to really work with the stones, just a bit. First I looked at aka-pin. I think it is quite fast stone, generating a lot of mud easily, but surprisingly, on clear water it can deliver hht3 on razor after stropping. Shave is acceptable but not that mellow like finer grit finishers can give.

The big stone is not checked by me yet, but it is really generous with space for honing. I also observed that it is not overwhelmingly hard. It is stingy to release it’s own particles with hard nagura but possible to create fine water-milk if rubbing continues for some seconds. Such fine milk I believe can be used for last 10 strokes of sharpening. I will experiment with these stones next days, including soft nagura and come up to you with questions, if any.

I wish you all the best in 2014!

Kind regards,


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The straightrazor guy

I was directed to Alex through the fellows at SRP. They suggested me to email him and describe what I wanted in a final finishing hone. I told him: I wanted an 8×3 stone for $200 that can improve a coticule edge which feels like honing on velvet which is also a fast cutter with slurry, and a fine finisher on water. Alex delivered EXACTLY what I asked for. I couldn’t be happier with my Ozaki Asagi Kamisori Toishi!

Dave W    Pittsburgh

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Straight razor maker and user with old world values.


I just wanted to take a minute to say thanks.
Honing stones can be hit or miss at time. Even more so with Japanese
naturals because each stone can perform so differently. While it’s
nice to have a dealer be able to give you an idea of how it works,
it’s still best to be able to test it yourself. You are the only
person that I know of that will send multiple stone to test. You make
it easy to pick a stone that works for the customer by either letting
them test a few and send back what doesn’t work. Or pick a single
stone and if it doesn’t work for you, send it back and pick another.

Thanks again for making a tough job easier.

Brian Brown Custom Straight Razors.

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Wise straight razor restorer, user

I have had the pleasure of dealing with TheJapanBlade and Alex on several occasions over the past couple of years. I am not a woodworker by trade or by affection for the work. I am a straight razor restorer as well as a straight razor shaver user. Continue reading
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Old time straight razor user

Hi Alex,

I want to thank you for the excellent service, integrity and interest in my satisfaction you displayed in my recent purchase of several kamisoris on your web site. I have bought stones before on the internet, but your approach is quite different. Allowing me to test drive the stones was great for both of us. Getting my hands on those beautiful antique stones made all the difference to me. I appreciate the heritage of these old barber hones and the information you provided that allowed me to get immediate results. The shaves from razors honed on your stones are exactly as you said they would be, smooth and effortless. If I need high end stones in the future you will certainly be my first stop.

Thanks again, Denny Kelly

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Dr., furniture maker, traveler, japanese tool user.

Like many of those making furniture using hand joinery, I used to put off sharpening and the results showed it. Eventually however, I discovered the joys, and the results, of using good Japanese tools. As sharpening became part of the satisfaction, I came to rely on a small community of people who refused to compromise when it came to achieving the finest edge possible. Alex Gilmore and The Japan Blade are among those I turn to. I know of nothing comparable, short of a trip to Japan.

Lee Coleman                    Berkeley, California          japanese tool user

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Straight razor user in Palo Alto

 Not only is Alex’s service some of the best I have encountered in this industry, but his knowledge of not only the stones he sells but razors, shaving and the history of the art of shaving impeccable. Combine this with his passion for sharing his knowledge and you have an unbeatable combination!

I would not hesitate a second to purchase anything Alex sells or trust his judgement about Japanese stones, razors, shaving and the nuances of all of the above.
Mark Reifkind       Palo Alto, California                                
Straight razor shaver, gymnest and professional sports trainer
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Master carpenter, funiture maker.

Hi Alex,
Nice to hear from you, and nice to revisit your website.  There is so much information about stones there it almost makes my head hurt.  My testimonial is this:  After using man made stones for nearly 30 years, and only dabbling in natural stones during that time, I finally got a natural Continue reading

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From Arizonia, a craftsman

Hi Alex,
 First I have a couple comments about the site. I really appreciate that you take the time to post all the pictures and info; I have definitely found it interesting and informative and I also really like what you’ve got on Youtube. I do miss the micro-pictures on the site showing the effects of the different stones all on the Continue reading

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Japanese tool user in Nova Scotia

I first met” Alex through a tool purchase on eBay a few of years ago. I was impressed with the research and documentation (something he provides for all his products) which accompanied the tool, along with its quality.

As someone who has lived, worked and been trained in Japan and regularly travels there to select the items he offers for sale, I believe Alex really knows through experience what quality is and therefore can offer superior products. He is very willing to share his knowledge through personal correspondence, documentation with his products and on his blog, which is something I appreciate very much.

He is also a regular contributor on various Japanese woodworking forums. I can whole-heartedly recommend him.

Steve Mitchell               Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia Canada

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